Michigan Sportsman Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am asking specifically about hunters who started hunting later in life (18+) and didn’t have a parent or family member as a teacher; but I welcome answers from all. My dad is a golfer and I was a golfer most of my life. I wanted to hunt but didn’t have any opportunity. Then I blew out my knee and hip, which led to military retirement, and could no longer golf. So I picked up hunting this year at 30. I have some of Steve Rinella’s books and watch Meat Eater along with The Hunting Public since I hunt public land. I also read all the major magazines online.

I have been out in the field twice, once for turkey and once for small game/upland birds, and been skunked both times. How did you learn and when did confidence and success come?


-VHR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,473 Posts
Be observant and questioning. When you find an example of what you are hunting try to figure out why it was here and not over there, and what it was doing. After a few false starts a picture will start to come together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
I was like you I wanted to hunt but had no one in my family that hunted . I read a few books but mostly just learned through trial and error. Nothing teaches like experience. Just be observant . I was lucky that I was always interested in biology and animal habits, I used to watch and investigate animal behavior before I ever hunted, My buddy once told me you are a hunter just with out a gun. When I first started to turkey hunt it took me like 4 years to get my first bird. It took almost the same for my first deer ! I guess I was a little slow. One thing I will add is that when I did get to talk or hunt with an experienced hunter I took in everything they had to offer. This can shorten the leaning curve but will admit I had very few examples to actually learn from .I have to say the learning is sometimes just as much fun as the success !
I will add that some of the shows like the Hunting Public are great for learning from as you see them actually out there and while its not like doing it yourself if you see something on there that works and then you may recognize that tactic in the woods and increase your success just buy that knowledge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
Watch what the old guys do. Ask them questions you will get lots of guys that won't answer questions but the few that do will help you allot. And as others have said observe the animals figure out what makes them do stuff figure out their quirks. What are they feeding on? What's the weather like when they feed on that source? Are they ignoring a good food source and if so why? I've started keeping a journal to try and write down the stuff like weather, windspeed and direction, and the date. Also what the animals acted like in those conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,825 Posts
Every time afield is a new start.
Every year (unless you are out year round often) it is a restart.
Nothing seen going about it's business , and the rare critter taking evasive action spotted.
Then with an outing or two ,or more you ?I finally slow down. Arms quit swinging. Movement is quieter and most deliberate.
More time is spent using senses combined vs looking with a swiveling head while moving.
Subtle detail emerges. One dimension becomes 3D. Movement slows more.

In time , part of an area causes slower deliberation. While much more area is void of interest /focus. Because senses tell you it's marginal at best. That takes time afield to awaken.
So does our senses on high powers endurance. You get "the stares" or bump or spook game repeatedly , it's time to either sit a while or leave. Focus is tired. A hunt can involve an hour to go a hundred yards. Or a mile.

Pre season time afield can reduce getting to that slowed down and aware position.
And can offer scouting data. Going out with snow on the ground can be educational.
Game that didn't seem to exist suddenly leaves undisputable evidence. And can lead to evidence besides tracks of activity you can apply without snow. Subtle stuff at first. But more easily noticed after seeing examples first.

Things change. And can change fast from the data gathered.
But by learning an area by seasons the familiarity can help .
Where is a quarry coming from and going to? When? Why?
Where does it loaf or rest? When? Why?
How does it react to big weather changes?
What does hunting pressure change?

Get out there. Ease along and blend in with the "normal expected goins on" of the minute.
No rush , unless a rush is required based on your quarry. It has the rest of it's life to avoid your hand. How long do you have?
How long will you wait if it is out of sight but in range? Do you know where it is? That knowing is key. And hard to teach. But your quarry will teach you if you study it enough. By being where it is undetected (or detected depending...) and seeing it first.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,098 Posts
not sure how I misread and thought you were asking about deer lol...I have nothing to offer about turkey and small game except I would like to get into that when I get more time available. Get to know some people on here and Im certain someone will meet up with you to show you the ropes and possibly let you hunt with them. Lots of good people on here willing to help new hunters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
I got into bird hunting on my own. I knew where to hunt not so much how. I was lucky to pick up an exceptional springer spaniel. Dog taught me everything I know about hunting birds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,373 Posts
Dad died when I was 8. He took me out on pheasant hunts in the 70s where I could shoot my .22 and his shotgun in the field. Got hooked early in my single digit age. Can still remember the smell of that shotshell gun powder on the cool fall days in the cut corn fields from when I was around 7 years old. After he died it was tough to do any of that again anytime soon. Had to wait several years till someone took me (uncle, cousin, friend of family) when I got back in to it where I've been ever since. Been at it for close to 50 years. Deer, Bear, Duck and Grouse mainly. Coyotes and Ground hogs are season extender critters for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,473 Posts
. . . when did confidence and success come?
Bear hunting is my passion, even more so than deer hunting, Confidence and success came long ago, but this season has me stumped. I'll save the details until my season ends. The point is that even when you know it all, you don't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
I turn 65 in December and didn't start hunting until eight years ago. My wife was working at the local gun range and got me a gift certificate for sporting clays instruction and I was hooked on that, eventually getting into more guns and finally decided to try hunting small game and then turkey. I added firearm hunting for deer, and then added a crossbow and in the past two years a compound bow. I learned on my own, watching videos on the Internet and reading books, followed by a lot of trial and error.

I only hunt public land but I have it almost out my front door. The first year I tried turkey hunting it took me most of that week before finally bagging one and that was it, I loved the interaction with calling in the birds. I have been fortunate to get one every year, usually on the first or second day of the season. Deer hunting was another story. Only having a gun I was limited on the time to hunt and wasn't successful, but a few years later added the crossbow to extend the hunting time and finally got my first deer.

I haven't always been fortunate during deer season but have managed at least one most years, and I have been trying new things with better scouting and using a saddle to hunt from to increase the odds. I enjoy the time in the woods whether I have a shot or not.

I wish I had started when young, especially growing up in the country on acreage with an apple orchard, but nobody in the family hunted. I enjoy it now and my oldest son actually started before I did and now all of his kids are active.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,045 Posts
What area are you from and or hunt? I'm sure someone on here would be happy to give you pointers in the field. I would be down to help ya.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top